Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The pendulum swing

Fashion is famous for going to extremes. One season, a style (sold in one color only) sells out. A relatively small quantity was purchased of that style and the retailer now thinks this will be a great style in a larger way. So the brand makes this style in 10 colors for a future season and buys a huge quantity. The style hits the selling floor with no support or marketing and it fails. We are now calling this style an epic failure. How could it be so successful one season and such a bad style the next? This is a classic fashion example of “swinging the pendulum”.

Finding a reasonable balance can be challenging in an industry with so many passionate people. It’s easy to get carried away and swept up in a moment. Hardly ever do these extreme shifts lead to success. It is important to take risks in an ever changing industry, but there are ways to handle where you can increase your chances of success. First, how far do you really need to move from your current position? After dipping your toe in the water, think through your next step. Maybe you don’t need to dive in the deep end, but rather swim swiftly to the deep end.

Risk is important, but a calculated risk has a better chance of success. In the style expansion example above, think about how a company could handle this differently. How could a marketing plan help turn this expanded style into a product launch versus expansion? What if the company carried this style in 10 colors and but bought a moderate amount. To cover the upside, the company could position fabric with a vendor and replenish the style if the expansion was successful- it protects you from the downside, but creates the opportunity for upside.

How many times have you seen your company swing the pendulum? How many times has it led to a successful outcome? What can you do in your position to create calculated risk rather than swinging the pendulum? Who can you work with in your role to ensure success for your company and the product you deliver? How can finding balance help you advance in your career? 

To learn more about career coaching, go to www.katekibler.com

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